Bayer Healthcare has been found to have breached the UK pharmaceutical industry’s code of conduct after promoting prescription-only medicines on social networking site Twitter.
The company was found to have violated Clause 2, which prohibits promotional activities that bring discredit upon or reduce confidence in the pharmaceutical industry, by posting tweets related to dysfunction medication Levitra and multiple sclerosis drug Sativex.
The tweets constituted promotional material of prescription-only medicines to the general public, forbidden by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority.
This is the first case where a breach of the code has involved social media.
Bayer Healthcare’s Twitter is followed by approximately 500 other accounts.
The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority issued guidance over the use of digital media earlier this year, advising companies that information could be provided to the public if it complied with the code.